By  on February 1, 2002

NEW YORK -- Continental Partners, an investment company, is closing in on the purchase of Fila and expects to wrap up the deal within the month, according to industry sources.

The company is expected to be purchased for "less than $100 million," one insider said.

Continental Partners is reportedly led by three executives who have known each other for years: former Danskin owner Byron Hero, Tony Conti and investment banker John Percival. Conti, a former senior executive at Deloitte Touche, once partnered with Gucci to buy B. Altman and later sold it to Hooker Retail.

Executives at Continental Partners could not be reached for comment.

With offices here and in Milan, Continental Partners executives have reportedly been spending the bulk of their time at the European office, which is about 100 miles from Fila's worldwide headquarters in Biella, Italy. Should the deal go through as planned, the company will continue to be based in Biella, one source said.

Continental Partners plans to make Fila the anchor in its business, but is looking to pursue other apparel labels down the road, the source said.

A spokeswoman for Holding di Partecipazioni Industriali, Fila's parent company, has confirmed that HdP was in exclusive talks with Continental for the sale of Fila, as reported.

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